Cancer is a condition that affects a large number of people worldwide. It is characterized by the growth of abnormal cells in a healthy area of the body. These abnormal cells attack the normal body cells in the area. The abnormal cells form a tumor which grows uncontrolled until it begins to affect the functioning of the organ or organs in the area where the cancer exists. In the final stage of cancer, the tumor spreads to distant locations within the body and begins to affect other parts and organs. This is known as metastasis and has a fairly bleak diagnosis.
The cervix is a part of the female reproductive system. It is the part of the reproductive tract that is above the vagina and below the uterus and serves as the connection between the two. The cervix is the part that gets affected by cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is described as a cancer that originates in the cervix. The best test for cervical cancer, including precancerous conditions is the Pap smear test. The Pap smear test involves the insertion of a surgical device through the vagina to the opening of the cervix. From this area, cells are scraped of the side wall to be analyzed for any potential abnormality. This abnormality may be a precursor to cancer and is therefore extremely useful in diagnosis as it can prevent the condition from worsening into a cancer. The abnormality may be caused by the human papillomavirus which is a sexually transmitted virus. Any woman who is sexually active should have a Pap smear test done once in a while in order to establish the normalcy of her cervix. Any abnormal result from the Pap smear test will result in further testing which will help guide the course of treatment.
Cervical cancer can be treated through surgery or through chemotherapy and radiation techniques. A hysterectomy procedure may be recommended, particularly to older women who do not wish to be fertile for future childbirth. In this condition, the uterus and the upper vagina are removed completely. This procedure is usually done at the initial stage of the cancer but can be done during any stage of the treatment. It may also be done if the patient wishes to perform the procedure anyway to rid herself of the uterus. Other procedures such as surgical removal of the tumor and the lymph nodes may be conducted.
Submitted by M T on May 10, 2010 at 04:15